Archive for the ‘Boundaries’ Category

Earth Has Its Boundaries

Posted: October 17, 2013 in Boundaries
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The journal assignment one warm day last April was boundaries.  As in, exploring our own, recognizing the ones before us, honoring them, stopping at them or figuring out how and when to go around.  I know all about boundaries.  I have had impenetrable walls protecting me all my life.  It must be what happens automatically when you lose your dad 16 months after you’re born, you yearn to dress and act as the opposite gender and your mother is married, from when you are 6 to when you are 15, to a violent, mean, condescending sociopath who thinks that feelings and affection are unnecessary.  So damaged was I by him and his rules about what was necessary and what was not that I have nearly banished the “unnecessary” word from my vocabulary when speaking with my girls.  I want them to know that what’s important to them is important to me.  I have indeed told Bea that someday she will grow up and see what a crazy and rather silly time of life middle school can be.  But when we have this discussion I always preface it by letting her know I understand that it’s important to her now – that the issues kids face in their early teens are meaningful when they are dealing with them.  I would never tell her (nor would I tell the twins in a year or two) that her feelings about what she is going through are “unnecessary,” that if a friend said something nasty about her, or to her, it was unnecessary to be mad or sad about it.

My kids, I think, see the truest and most boundary-free version of me that exists.  Georgia and Esther are just on the cusp of being old enough so I have hinted to them that they can ask me anything.  Their questions are still mostly cute and kind of funny.  Bea is right at that age when kids want to know everything there is to know.  I have told her to ask me whatever questions she has and I will give her an honest answer.  She’s asked me about sex.  She’s asked me about love.  She’s asked me about my drug use.  I’ve been frank and admitted that, though not a very adventurous drug-user, I have smoked weed plenty of times and still would on occasion if I had the money and the connections.  Just a few days ago I told her that smoking pot makes orgasms more intense.  She laughed and said she can’t imagine what an orgasm is even like.  I told her it was like a party in your whole body.  That was enough for her.  But she loved how open I was with her.

For other people, though, I do have my walls.  Getting hurt sucks.  Of course, relationships are better when you can be open and vulnerable, but you have to be able to trust to do that.  I try, I sincerely do.  I have come to realize that not everyone is out to hurt me the way my mother’s ex-husband hurt me.  I met him when I was 5 and just finishing kindergarten.  I was the only kid, other than my middle sister, in the entire elementary school who didn’t have a dad.  And I wanted one.  Badly.  So badly I was willing to jump into his arms and hope he’d be the wonderful father I craved.  Which he was, for about 6 months.  Then I think he realized what he had gotten himself into and all hell broke loose.  He was 39 years old, a widower, father of his own 8-year-old motherless girl and suddenly he had a new wife and three other daughters.  And if he didn’t think he could handle it, if he for even an instant doubted his ability to feel love and affection towards the 4 new people in his life he never should have taken up the challenge.  He should have known that he was cold and uncaring, incapable of affection and compassion and just turned around and walked.  Away.

So, yes, I have walls to protect myself, but nowhere near as many as I used to.  I have spent a lifetime tearing them down and letting people in.  It’s a work in progress.  It started when I was 15 and my mom finally had the courage to divorce the monster.  How long I live will determine how far I get.

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“Tao is beyond words and beyond understanding. Words may be used to speak of it, but they cannot contain it. Tao existed before words and names, before heaven and earth, before the ten thousand things. It is the unlimited father and mother of all limited things. Therefore, to see beyond boundaries to the subtle heart of things, dispense with names, with concepts, with expectations and ambitions and differences. Tao and its many manifestations arise from the same source: subtle wonder within mysterious darkness. This is the beginning of all understanding.”  Lao Tzu